Monday, December 6, 2010

mist and ice: today's photographs

Ice on the hedges

and ice on the fallen leaves
and ice on the undergrowth

winter has come very early this year :>(

you can see more here


Setting up the exhibition at The Old Grammar School - a 17C timbered building on stilts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hunstanton, very high tide with onshore gale

Very high tide with onshore gale, Hunstanton

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hydrangeas close up

Hydrangeas in my garden.

I planted this hydrangea in a chimney pot on the patio last year when it was a beautiful sky blue.

I know they can turn pink if the soil isn't right so I bought some aluminium salts to make sure it stayed blue and this year it's a beautiful intense blue-purple.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Evening Light, Sennen Cove

Evening Light, High Tide, Sennen Cove. photo by Vivien Blackburn

This was taken into the light of the setting sun and I love the way that it appears to be a black and white photo - and that flash of light on the horizon beyond the harbour wall.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Flowers after rain - in my garden

Oriental Poppy, photograph Vivien Blackburn

We had heavy rain this morning so I thought I'd put the 10x magnifying lens on and get some images of the dripping wet flowers before they dried.

Artichoke - or is it a Cardoon ? I can't remember! but it's flowering this year :>) 3 buds. I can't wait until the flower opens. They are supposed to be the blue ones - I love that sky blue colour. It has taken 3 years for it to finally flower.

another of the Oriental Poppies that have done really well this year :>)

Foxgloves - the bees love these.

and finally the climbing Masquerade rose that flowers and flowers all summer.

It's only little but I love my garden :>)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Porthcurno, May 2010

Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall, May 2010, copyright Vivien Blackburn

.... and yes! the sea in Cornwall really IS that colour, no photoshopping or retouching at all.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sennen Cove, May

Sennen Cove, Low Tide, May 2010, copyright Vivien Blackburn

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Winter Pansies

Winter Pansies

The winter pansies I planted in the autumn have been fantastic this year - they flowered all winter and are now a mass of flowers, looking really beautiful. This photo was taken when I bought them when they were just little plants in 5 inch pots - they are now huge sprawling masses of colour in large pots :>)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A really bad photo - but this is the size of madame in the previous photo when we first had her. Orphaned, 2 weeks old and her and her brother fitted in one hand. Sadly her brother didn't make it as he couldn't tolerate the kitten formula :>(

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mind the claws!

Poser in a wastepaper basket

This one loved to play up to the camera when she was younger - and has a fetish for getting into baskets and boxes.

When overexcited those claws are lethal!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rocks at Hele Bay, Devon, photograph copyright Vivien Blackburn

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hydrangea, photoshopped

Hydrangea close up, copyright Vivien Blackburn

A close up, played with in Photoshop.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Roses. copyright Vivien Blackburn

Just to remind myself that winter will end.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oriental Poppy

Oriental Poppy, copyright Vivien Blackburn

A gorgeous oriental poppy, taken when flower painting in a friend's garden. They don't like my garden much so I've never grown them very successfully :>(

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wild Day, Sennen Cove, copyright Vivien Blackburn

For some beautiful and dramatic storm pictures taken by local photographers check out these.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rocks - photographs from Devon

Rocks on the beach at Clovelly, photographs copyright Vivien Blackburn

Huge rocks on the beach at Clovelly - they didn't have far to go for building materials for the harbour and streets.

More images of Clovelly here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Sunset over Pentire, copyright Vivien Blackburn

Wishing I was there.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Photographs copyright Vivien Blackburn

Back to work today and the first time out of the door in ages .... I don't do snow! But it did mean I got out to take some photos.

The car tyres in the car park at work had made this row of hearts :>)

and the dried grasses in the verges made lovely calligraphic marks agains the snow covered fields.

I think these may feed into some drawings/paintings.

see some other images taken today on my painting blog.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

photograph of a jealous cat!

The tiger in the background was adopted as a 2 week old orphan and never learned to 'speak cat'. She was terrified of any cat who came near her (she really is a neurotic little madam, still).

So we adopted the little panther in the front after about a year - a kitten of about 8 weeks, thinking it would be company for her and give her confidence.

She was petrified of him - it took weeks for her to adjust and I was seriously worried that it would never work. This is when the fear was subsiding but the jealousy was huge. She did NOT like him sitting there considering coming on my knee!

Friday, January 8, 2010

patterns in the sand: photographs

Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, wet sand. photographs copyright Vivien Blackburn

Wells next the Sea photograph copyright Vivien Blackburn

Mawgan Porth, ebb tide, photograph copyright Vivien Blackburn

Sometimes it's the patterns in the landscape/seascape that are so interesting - the sheen of smooth damp sand in the first one, with reflections making a subtle abstract.

In the second the vividly blue sky and sea in stripes and pools and patterns on the beach at Wells, with the tide far out.

In the third the dazzle and shimmer of wet pools as the tide recedes in Cornwall, carving grooves and ripples, channels and deep pools as it goes.

For some lovely pictures of beaches check out the link to Tony Howell in the sidebar

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Clovelly, Devon, photographs of the north coast of Devon

photographs of north Devon, copyright Vivien Blackburn:

Clovelly harbour, above and below

The main street in Clovelly

I could happily spend a week here sketching and taking photographs and never leave the village. The 'street' is incredibly steep and the cobbles are huge, needing sensible shoes. As you zig zag down the hill there are fantastic views down onto the harbour and along the coast.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Autumn in Bradgate Park

Bradgate Park, in Charnwood Forest, was the home of Lady Jane Grey - the teenage Queen for 9 days, before being beheaded.

The land was given to the city of Leicester as a park - there are ancient oaks, deer, wildlife, rocky, bracken covered hills and the remains of Jane's house.

These were taken on a beautiful sunny autumn day with the lovely long shadows of an autumn afternoon.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fishing nets and floats, Ilfracombe harbour. photograph copyright Vivien Blackburn

The colour and pattern of the nets on the harbourside caught my eye. It was a family holiday, so no chance of stopping to paint them, though I would have loved to.

Sometimes it's just the abstract pattern, shapes and colours that are interesting.

This was taken with my first digital camera - a 3mp Fuji. I wasn't sure how I'd like digital compared with film as I was used to my Olympus SLR and full control of depth of field and aperture/speed. I found myself hooked and though I haven't parted with my beloved SLR it languishes in a drawer. Since then I've upgraded to a better camera, not SLR but with a huge zoom range and higher spec with manual/auto control. I love the ability to see images immediately, to choose simply which ones to print and to sort into 'best' and the rest :>) in folders.

I've added links to the photographers I particularly like in the sidebar - do take a look.

Doisneau and Cartier Bresson I love for their underlying wit and ability to spot a 'moment'.

Stephane Compoint is a contemporary photographer - do look at his images of the building of the bridge at Millau. If you don't like heights (like me) some of the images will turn your knees to jelly with vertigo.

Bill Brandt for the superb moody lighting and composition and sense of place,

Monday, January 4, 2010

the harbour, clovelly, devon

The harbour at Clovelly in Devon, photograph copyright Vivien Blackburn

A photograph taken a couple of years ago on a visit to the north coast of Devon.

Clovelly is an old fishing village built into a steep hillside, with a steep cobbled pathway winding down to a lovely little harbour. I was disappointed on the way there that it was misty and that we wouldn't be seeing it in sunshine - in actual fact it created a wonderful soft light and really added to the atmosphere. I like the photos with their soft subtler colours and atmosphere :>)

The harbour at Clovelly, photograph copyright Vivien Blackburn

The beach there is covered with huge rocks and these have been used to build the harbour and houses and cobble the streets.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year and a new blog, starting with a picture of Cornwall

May in Sennen Cove. photo: copyright Vivien Blackburn

I've got hundreds - no thousands of photos, some of which I occasionally show on my painting blog. Anita has started a photography blog, where she intends to show a picture a day. I thought it was a great idea.

This won't be a newly taken photo every day, most will be from the vast stored archives I have, mixed in with the new.

I've always had an interest in photography, mainly for its own sake as I prefer not to paint from photos. I included photography in my degree - the university had a wonderful state-of-the-art darkroom in the media department.

The same issues interest me in photography as in painting - light, mood, sense of place, texture, colour and pattern. The arrangement of elements or fields and hedges make wonderful abstract patterns.

The first one I share has to be Cornwall. This one taken on an intensely blue day - vivid blue seas and sky and the fisherman surrounded by gulls :>)